Staff Report (Florida Catholic)
More than 325 couples celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, or more years of marriage joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane at a Mass in honor of significant milestone anniversaries on Feb. 18 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.
The combined years married of the couples totaled more than 16,000 years of wedded bliss. Two couples present were celebrating their anniversary on the day of the Mass, and another 61 couples were celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2017. In addition, four couples who have been married for 70 years or longer, have been married a combined 297 years. They were individually recognized by Bishop Dewane by name and give ovations for their longevity. The couple married the longest, Albert and Angela Cassettari of Epiphany Cathedral Parish, have been married for 78 years.
Bishop Dewane thanked the couples for their years of marriage and for taking the gifts God has granted them and becoming the husband and wife they are today. âYou are an example for others to follows. You have been blessed with patience, kindness and humility.â
âThe Mass honoring wedding anniversaries is one of the most personally uplifting experiences throughout the year,â Bishop Dewane noted. âWe celebrate the sacred bond of Marriage, but we also rejoice in the beauty of the family. Pope Francis reminds us the family is our âinitiation into the alliance of man and womanâ â and it all begins with Marriage.â
Thomas and Delores Martorana of Epiphany Cathedral have been married 66 years and said the success of their marriage can be attributed to their Faith. Delores added that âif we ever have a problem; whatever God sends, we accept.â This includes two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Teresa and Ben Maltese, of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Port Charlotte, were set up on a blind date by mutual friends, and 45 years later they find comfort in sharing their life together guided by God. âWhat a treasured event for us.,â Teresa said of the Mass.
A reception was held in the Parish Hall following the Mass where couples waited to have a formal picture taken with Bishop Dewane.
A second Mass for milestone anniversaries will take place at 10 a.m., March 11, at St. Leo the Great Parish in Bonita Springs. Couples are asked to register with their home Parish.